Three Key Takeaways from DevLearn

Tin Can, Social and Informal Learning, and Enterprise Mobile Learning

Conferences, Experience API, Pedagogy and Learning Comments (0)

If you were able to make it to DevLearn in Las Vegas last week, you know it was huge. Literally. According to Bill Brandon and Jennifer Neibert at Learning Solutions Magazine, nearly 2,000 people were on hand at this year’s event held at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Float was also one of 86 exhibitors, participating in the largest Guild expo ever.

But DevLearn was also huge because of the ideas pushed forth by the presenters, the attendees who received them so well, and the exhibitors that are producing such cool work.

Before this recap continues, a huge thanks to David Kelly for curating the DevLearn backchannel. The links included on this blog would have been incredibly difficult to collect after the fact without his tremendous all-in-one resource. Best wishes to him and his family after Hurricane Sandy.

We identify with three key takeaways from DevLearn regarding Tin Can, social and informal learning, and enterprise mobile learning.

Tin Can Has Arrived

No matter what you call it, the Tin Can API (aka the Experience API) has arrived. Even if people didn’t know what the Tin Can API does, they knew it was big and will have a major impact on learning. Megan Bowe, who rocks the Tin Can API, posted this great overview of Tin Can at Training Industry. It was everywhere at the event and is maturing into a game-changing specification that will reshape this industry.

Additionally, AICC has announced it will adopt Tin Can for the latest version of its CMI 5 specification. “This leaves us with one standard … but more importantly it ‘frees’ eLearning from the boundaries of the LMS,” wrote Easygenerator CEO Kasper Spiro on his blog. “This is a big thing … and in the long run, it will change the market completely.”

Mobile learning pioneers panel at DevLearn 2012

Chad Udell (far right) participates in Mobile Learning from the Pioneers on the Mobile Learning Stage at DevLearn 2012. Also, pictured are (L-R): Judy Brown, Clark Quinn, Robert Gadd, and Rovy Branon.

Tin Can is not a magic bullet. However, our own Chad Udell told a group during an Ignite panel. “You need to be clear about what you want to get out of it.” That ultimately leads to metrics, for which we’ll point to a detailed post on big data and learning analytics courtesy of Eric Fox, Ph.D.

So how are people using Tin Can? Mel Aclaro has a few examples. Mel interviewed vTrainingRoom’s Michael Roberts, who discusses the components of CPR course and how each can be tied to Tin Can. “What he described,” Mel writes, “was precisely the kind of visual that many of us relatively non-techie eLearning course developers and instructional designers were pining for as we struggled to wrap our collective heads around what Tin Can ultimately offer.”

Of course, we would also offer up our use of Tin Can – Tappestry.

“If you are interested in leveraging the Tin Can API to help you solve a design problem for your organization, just start small,” says Ali Shahrazad of Saltbox Services. Ali provides five steps for getting started with Tin Can.

Social, Informal Learning Should Be Supported

We’ve long advocated social and informal learning, so we’re always happy to see others supporting it, too. The concepts of social and informal were a big deal at the event (check out the backchannel resources for evidence of that). This only makes sense as learning experiences become noticeably more diffused throughout a working environment.

After all, we’ve seen study after study that suggests informal learning is what employees rely on the most. Case in point: Sara Lee. Look at the slices of the pie (pun not intended) with a social component – on-the-job experience, networking, mentoring/coaching – compared to formal training. (Special nod to Roberta Gogos at the eFront Blog for posting her thoughts on a recent eLearning Guild research report written by Patti Shank, the Guild’s director of research.)

When it comes to learning, you should leverage your social network. Maria Andersen gives you several measurable goals with which to use your connections to learn from and to share what you’ve learned.

The Future of Enterprise is Mobile

So says Intuition, and we’d agree. According to their infographic, three out of four members of the U.S. workforce are mobile, and 65 percent of workers declared their mobile devices to be their “most critical work device” in 2012. These and other stats point to the importance of mobile learning within the enterprise going forward.

Mel Aclaro even combines the enterprise with social networking in his PDF, the seven steps for launching an enterprise social network.

Some Expo attendees we talked to discussed the need to get their employees out from in front of their laptops and into their respective fields. It’s clear from these conversations that we as an industry are in the early stages of operationalizing learning.

We Had a Great Time

Float had a wonderful experience with DevLearn this year, from speaking and participating in the Expo to helping current and future Tin Can adopters discuss how the new specification would work best for them.

What your key takeaways from DevLearn, and what are you hoping to accomplish in the next year? Leave us a comment telling us what you liked and what your goals are for 2013.

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Adam Bockler is the communications manager for Float, responsible for all of Float's marketing initiatives. In addition, Adam is a certified DDP Yoga Level 1 instructor, a certified personal trainer, a martial arts instructor, and a graduate of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.

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On November 9, 2012
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